I typically pass by Kyle's work with a great deal of difficulty, such to keep his work with the Bleacher Report and with Colts Authority separate, but this one was too good to leave without sharing. With all of the speculation surrounding Indy's training camp, we finally have an article that predicts – convincingly – what Indy's roster will look like heading out of training camp.
Cornerbacks: Vontae Davis, Greg Toler, Darius Butler, Cassius Vaughn, Teddy Williams
Analysis: Davis and Toler should make a pretty strong starting duo if both can play consistently. Davis came on very strong during the last few weeks of 2012 and has the potential to be a No. 1 corner if he can improve his consistency. Toler has great ball skills and just needs to show he can take on the load of being a full-time starter.
Darius Butler should be the slot corner after playing well there last season, but the Colts' coaches seemed to irrationally like Vaughn in 2012, and he could leapfrog Butler on the depth chart. Vaughn deserves to be on the roster as a depth corner, but the less time he's actually on the field, the better.
"The Colts' coaches seemed to irrationally like Vaughn" – how true? Besides that, Rodriguez (I wonder if he'd be okay with me calling him K-Rod?) goes over every position, as well as the 'last five guys to make it' – and if his predictions hold true, I wouldn't be upset at all. On an interesting note however …
LaVon Brazill won't count toward the roster while he serves his four-week suspension, but he should stay in Indianapolis. Once his suspension is up, Whalen or Palmer likely will be cut.
So in other words, Brazill's four-game suspension frees up roster room? The same goes for Weslye Saunders, who has a half-season to wait before he can start playing again. Along with Lefeged, Indy's reputation as a no-nonsense club is beginning to falter; two backups and a special teams player getting arrested or busted for PEDs is hardly helping the team maintain a good image, even with standout guys like Luck and Wayne on the roster.
Solution: why not cut some of these guys outright? Saunders, for instance, has been suspended already for taking Adderall in 2012, and at best, will play third-string tight end on a team with more weapons in their arsenal than Rambo. Send a message: cut Saunders. Demote Lefeged from special teams captain 'until he can prove that he can positively contribute to the community as well as the team'.
Meanwhile, you have Brazill; hard to send a message with a potential fourth-string (or lower) wideout. Build it up as a comeback opportunity; he sits the first four games, and then, as Rodriguez points out, should take Griff Whalen or Nathan Palmer's spot on the roster. Make him earn playing time, so his story can be passed off as a 'second chance for a young player' rather than an 'overlooked problem that may or may not persist'.
BAM. Public image, back to normal. As an added bonus, it stops players from thinking "You know, using PEDs is okay as long as I'm not about to get cut anyway, and look at the upside!" I mean – not because I hate Saunders – but he has clearly attempted to cheat the rules twice, and bringing him back at this point sends the wrong message. Cutting him speaks volumes, and – don't tell anyone – doesn't really hurt Indy that much.